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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So There Was No Magic Sperm?

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In this feature we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, we take a look at how Vision impregnated the Scarlet Witch…or DID he?

One of hey points of Steve Englehart and Richard Howell’s year-long Vision and Scarlet Witch mini-series was the establishment that Vision WAS human. Just in an artificial body. Vision embraced his humanity at the end of #2 when he decided, “Hey, we should have a kid.”

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In the following issue, the Scarlet Witch expresses some natural doubts about the possibility…

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Later in the issue, though, Vision and the Scarlet Witch are captured by the Salem’s Seven, who prepare to sacrifice Wanda to Lucifer. There is a whole bunch of magick energy being contained by the leader of the Salem’s Seven, Vertigo. When Vision takes out Vertigo…

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Suddenly there was a whole lot of magick with no one to control it. In steps Wanda…

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But she needs help…

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For lack of a better term, at that point Wanda essentially used the magick to make magic sperm there, impregnating her. Heck, if you want to read Vision and Scarlet Witch’s interactions above as “magick sex,” well, I guess you could.

In any event, in the following issue Wanda learns that she IS, in fact, pregnant…

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I love how casual Doctor Strange is about how the baby was conceived. “Eh, it’s only magick.”

At the end of the series, Wanda gives birth…

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but not just ONE baby, TWO!!

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So that was the way things were for some time until John Byrne took over West Coast Avengers (which was soon re-named to Avengers West Coast). In #43 of that title, Byrne already introduced a slight change, highlighting the fact that Wanda’s probability-altering powers gave her the babies, not magick…

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Later that same issue, her babies disappear…

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Wanda is NOT pleased at this…

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Nor is she when the NEXT governess has the same problem…

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The NEXT governess just lies about it…

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Eventually, in Avengers West Coast #51, a resurrected Agatha Harkness explains what is going on…

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And in a twisted scene, we meet Master Pandemonium with the twins…

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And he reveals the truth in the following issue…

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And Agatha Harkness spells it out to the Human Torch (who had recently joined the Avengers) and the widow of Toro, Torch’s former sidekick…

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Finally, the Avengers defeat Master Pandemonium, but Wanda’s kids are totally gone. Agatha explains more…

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So there you go, Byrne abandoned an’ forsaked the whole thing.

In the future, though, Brian Michael Bendis would further abandon and forsake aspects of this story in Avengers Disassembled, including revealing that Doctor Strange did not remember Scarlet Witch having kids (despite, you know, delivering them himself). Plus, Agatha Harkness may or may not have been “resurrected” by the Scarlet Witch herself.

The twins would later return to continuity as brand-new characters in the pages of Young Avengers. That does not really count as an abandoned an’ forsaked (and it might not count as Abandoned Love, either). I will see if it can be worked into SOME sort of column in the future!

64 Comments

For the most part, I really liked Byrne’s art during that period, but the man has clearly never seen a human baby.

And Wanda’s luck just seemed to get worse and worse from that point on!

Has Byrne ever given a reason for undoing the twins? I know a common theory is “characters with kids are too complicated” – not that that stopped Reed & Sue! The most obvious example is lil’ Nathan Summers being spirited away to become Cable so he’s out of the way when Scott and Jean resume their relationship (a much better deal than his mother got!) though I’m sure you guys ‘n’ gals can think of others.

Mind you, considering what lay in the immediate future for Wanda – the Vision losing his emotions, her manipulation by Magneto, *that* infamous sequence with Wonder Man – one would almost think Byrne had it in for the character from the outset!

Can anyone shed any light on this? Apologies if it’s already been covered in an earlier column, I’ve been on board less than a year… :o)

It’s worth noting that Byrne’s retcon is also abandoned (arguably more Abandoned Love than Abandoned & Forsaken) and the twins are back as Wiccan and Speed of the Young Avengers. Also Agatha’s resurrection has apparently been undone, with what appears to be her long dead corpse being discovered.

Intriguing… I knew of Wiccan and Speed but not about the non-resurrection of Agatha – I really haven’t followed Marvel too closely since the Clone Saga and some hugely depressing What If’s.

Makes a change from the usual “Everybody Who Is Dead Is Not Actually Dead Even If The Body’s On-Panel And A Doctor Confirms It And The Handbook Lists Them As Definitely Dead” rule in comics these days… ;-)

On a lighter note, anyone else note the ERB tribute in one of the sound effects?

The One and Only

June 9, 2013 at 7:25 am

I was under the impression that Wanda had killed Agatha during the course of her breakdown in Disassembled. Either Miss Harkness had tried to help her, or Wanda had come to her looking for help, and things went ca-ca after that for the former governess.

I hate people who spell it with a “k”.

@The One and Only- Breevort has said in interviews that the intention during Dissasembled was that Agatha had never been resurrected but it was merely a trick of Wanda’s reality altering powers. The problem was that Bendis merely had Fury state that Agatha had been dead a “long time”, confusing many readers. (Note to writers- readers cannot tell what you mean by “a long time”. Weeks? Months? Years?)
However, Children’s Crusade revealed that Wanda only got reality-altering powers after Agatha’s resurrection, so apparently Agatha’s resurrection was real and Wanda either killed her or someone else killed her and Wanda reanimated her.

This was right around the time that I, who was a fan of Byrne from FF & Alpha Flight, this his Superman, became disenchanted with his WCA, a book I had been buying since issue 1. Looking back, it really seems his focus on undoing other writer’s changes was specifically focussed on anything either Englehart did that had stuck around, or Wolfman’s additions in other books.

Sad, really.

However, Brian, from what I understand John Byrne can’t take credit or blame for the title change from West Coast Avengers to Avengers West Coast.

That was due to Marvel wanting the Avengers titles grouped together on comic store shelves (Solo Avengers became Avengers Spotlight as well). This was roughly around the time New Mutants became X-Force so the X titles as well could be put all in one spot. as well.

Cory!! Strode

June 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

This story is actually the one where the bloom came off of the rose for me with Byrne. His ham-fisted “I hate everything Steve Englehart did!” ran through his run on WCA and made his run on the book read like mean spirited fan fiction rather than actual stories. AND he stormed off the book in a huff in the middle of a story (which has become his MO, sadly).

And the “BARSOOMMMM!” sound effect made me laugh pretty hard. I didn’t notice it back when I read that series originally!

However, Brian, from what I understand John Byrne can’t take credit or blame for the title change from West Coast Avengers to Avengers West Coast.

That was due to Marvel wanting the Avengers titles grouped together on comic store shelves (Solo Avengers became Avengers Spotlight as well). This was roughly around the time New Mutants became X-Force so the X titles as well could be put all in one spot. as well.

While it is true that the idea was to put the Avengers books all together, it was Byrne’s idea. It was one of the things he insisted they do if he was going to take over the book.

Man, the Vision looks really creepy when he’s holding his newly born second son.

As much as I love Byrne, it’s all his fault. HE WAS LAZY! SHAME ON YOU JB! NO REDEMPTION! BOO!

Man, the Vision looks really creepy when he’s holding his newly born second son.

Right? That’s why I picked that image for the display piece. So weird looking.

And I still remember his interviews at the time. The legendary JB was lazy! Thank god that he didn’t write more issues of Avengers of X-Men. Hidden Years was good for him, because it was his taste. And enough.
Yes, it is painful to say this kind of things about your hero, but it must be said. It’s good the way it happened. For once. There are many what ifs, but JB would ruin it much more. Unfortunately. And it’s not a pleasure to say it.

Of all things to try to undo, this definitely sounds odd.

Though the idea of “wishing up” a baby (basically) has been used elsewhere, particularly on “The Fairly OddParents” (the pros/cons of adding a baby to said show and being a comedy vs. a superhero drama aside…).

I really hated Byrne’s dismantling of the whole Wanda/Vision/babies paradigm. In interviews he said that the line about it being “like someone marrying a toaster” was his own point of view. Never mind that, from his inception, the Vision’s still being a real person and not merely a machine was part of his whole premise; never mind that the Vision and Wanda’s relationship, marriage and such had been developed over years; Byrne just had to smash it all. See also: Making Magneto a villain again after years of gradual growth from villain to sympathetic villain to reformed villain to somewhat of a hero.

I think the twins appeared a few times before YA. It’s been a while but I think one became the sorcerer supreme and the other became the Grim Reaper in the Last Avengers Story. Also they were in the Crossing (or at least it was hinted at).

Andrew Collins

June 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Glad to see I wasn’t the only one who caught the “BARSOOMM!” sound effect. I didn’t catch that the first time either, but having the pages blown up like this helps catch some of those previously missed details.

Marvel is horrible with children. Except for the Richards’ children, most kids end up dead or something…

akkadiannumen

June 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I always thought that Wanda’s pregnancy, while sort of acceptable/posible within the context of the fantastic MU (particularly at the time the story was written), was a little too much in several ways. As time passed, it only became more evident like it always happens with old stories. Byrne’s story made a little more sense (the hysterical pregnancy was a nice touch of reality) and, in general, it was pretty good. It’s disliked by quite a few fans because it retroactively changed continuity, something many fans dislike, particularly when it affects characters they like in ways they don’t approve of.

What does the Barsoomm mean? I’m missing the joke!

Also, when Vision’s dialogue is in that boxy bubble (as it usually is) are we supposed to read it in a robotish way (like the little girl on Small Wonder?)

@akkadiannumen- We’ve seen Clea conjure up a rabbit, for example. What’s the difference between Clea conjuring up a rabbit and Wanda conjuring up a baby when her powers are boosted by magic?
Byrne’s argument seemed to be that Wanda can’t create or restore life under normal circumstances. But as shown above, these weren’t normal circumstances. And Strange clearly thought it was possible.
The “hysterical pregnancy” just made Wanda look crazy. In fact, Byrne’s entire run was about taking Wanda from being a strong wife and mother to a crazy woman. It paved the way for Bendis’s destruction of Wanda’s character.

the way i understood mostly from after wanda and vision found out their kids were nothing but parts of pandamonium was as both Agness and later in childrens crusade stated a side effect of Wanda’s powers make her sterile she can not create life. plus the fact the vision is a machne so scarlet witch used her powers in new salme to have thomas and billy later. wican and speed of the young avengers. no wonder bendis finaly decided to have wanda destroy her fellow avengers. marvel never has been kind to the scarlet wtich as a character.

the way i understood mostly from after wanda and vision found out their kids were nothing but parts of pandamonium was as both Agness and later in childrens crusade dr. doom stated a side effect of Wanda’s powers make her sterile she can not create life. plus the fact the vision is a machne so scarlet witch used her powers in new salme to have thomas and billy later. wican and speed of the young avengers. no wonder bendis finaly decided to have wanda destroy her fellow avengers. marvel never has been kind to the scarlet wtich as a character. plus marvel could have just had her and the vision do the nasty would have saved some damage to the character of the scarlet witch.

not to mention technically the vision could be considered a real person for his brain pattern came from wonder man. who is flesh and blood. not a machine like the vision. still thought it was bad that john decided to have wanda forget she had kids even if they were just her powers fulfilling a wish of wanda’s

This is still one of the weirder storylines I encountered in the ’80s. Oy.
Steve Englehart’s writing. Man, that dude has such a strangely distinctive style, and it’s in full force during his West Coast Avengers and Vision & Scarlet Witch days. So over-the-top!

And… Doctor Strange, OB/GYN? Until this point, I’m sure no one had thought of him as being a family doctor.

Blackstone, DC has a pretty poor record too, as far as kids are concerned! Arthur Curry Jr, Lian Harper, two Robins (even if one of them is back now)… and let’s not forget that young space colonist who was ejected into space by Hal Jordan’s spaceship and went *POP* before our hero’s eyes…

For a number of years, I felt magic sperm was unnecessary, In his first appearance, he cries, showing he has functioning tear ducts. For me, it’s not that much more of a leap that he could also ejaculate. (Has he ever been shown to sweat?)

The less said about Byrne’s destroying other’s stories, the better.

“Barsoom” is the Martian name for Mars, in Edgar Rich Burroughs’ John Carter series.

As Aaron Stack told us in Nextwave, beware of spooky chicks who think they’ve been made pregnant by robots.

Michael P, I agree with you. It’s terribly pretentious.

I always thought that Byrne hated Wanda having magic powers. I remember the entry for the Handbook that he wrote for her that said any powers she displayed from magic were a lie. He just wanted the probability based powers for her that was it.

While I loved Englehart’s stuff, right before he left he had Hawkeye act like a jerk towards his wife, that was just stupid. It’s not like Hawkeye wasn’t responsible for Egghead’s death or anything. I always thought the Hawkeye/Mockingbird thing was done by Byrne until I looked it up.

This is probably my favorite retcon ever. I HATED Englehart’s V&SW series and found the domestic V&SW revolting.

@John Wyatt- he sweated in Avengers 251.

Paul L, I think Byrne just hated everything written by anyone other than himself.

At the very least, he had certain opinions, and would seemingly destroy any story that didn’t fit his own views of characters.

As time went on, I really grew to dislike Byrne’s retcon, as well as the hatchet jobs he did on both Wanda and the Vision. I don’t know if either of them, all these years later, have ever fully recovered. So I was happy when their children were revived as members of the Young Avengers.

@Paul L- I thought Gruenwald and Sanderson wrote that entry. And it didn’t say that all the powers she displayed from magic were a lie- just that she couldn’t fly, shoot magical energy blasts or transmute elements.
Regarding Egghead’s death, there’s arguably a difference between killing someone who killed your brother when they’ve got a gun at your friend’s back and leaving a helpless man who raped you to fall to his death. I agree, though, it was ridiculous- Clint was more angry that Bobbi left the Phantom Rider to die than he was that Bobbi endangered the team (and several innocent bystanders) by freeing Yetrigar.

Cory wrote: “[Byrne's] ham-fisted “I hate everything Steve Englehart did!” ran through his run on WCA and made his run on the book read like mean spirited fan fiction.”

If you thought that was bad, check out Starbrand, coming out about that same time, and see what Byrne did to Jim Shooter’s work. Via Byrne, the hero coerces his formerly platonic female friend into sleeping with him, fails to prevent a massacre at a comic convention (specifically killing fans who asked Byrne if he’d ever draw X-Men again, and then screws up royally and destroy Pittsburgh, killing more than a million people. It was really mean-spirited.

Two bad stories that taste bad together. How on earth did an artist as bad as Rich Howell get a year’s work from Marvel? And Englehart’s writing on that whole series was atrocious. So disappointing after the truly excellent first VSW mini-series by Mantlo and Leonardi.

It was so weird to have the same guy doing such great writing with Rogers on Silver Surfer and such terrible work on VSW, WCA and FF at around the same time. Englehart just seems to be one of those writers: great artists brought out the best in him (Rogers, Brunner, Starlin, even Lim to a certain extent) and bad artists brought out the worst (Buckler, Heck, Milgrom, and especially Howell)

Will E. Dynamite

June 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

While I think the way it was done was a bit of hamfisted overkill,I think Bryne was right on reversing this. Besides the irrationality of the situation,it opens the door to the concept that,given a large enough energy source to use,Wanda could pretty much do ANYTHING,without even meaning to. And what good could possibly *cough*Disassembled*cough* come out of that *cough*House of M & Decimation*cough*?

I didn’t have a problem with Vision and the Scarlet Witch having children, and I didn’t have a problem with them being retconned away. Though slightly hyperbolic — in the Byrnian style — that arc on WCA/AWC was dramatic; it introduced some potentially intriguing changes in the status quo, and provided a notable upgrade in the art. Englehart had done his best to add an emotional core to his stories — such as Pym’s depression and brief romance with Firebird (who could have been a much more valuable character), or the crisis in Hawkeye’s and Mockingbird’s marriage — but he was badly undermined by the bland, blocky pencils provided by Milgrom. In other words, Byrne’s disassembly of Vision and removal of the children was change that worked. I think that most people who object to it were more invested in the idea of Vision and Scarlet Witch as a couple and did not want to see it shook up, regardless of how it was done.

Richard Howell’s pencils were never my cup of tea either, but Gruenwald really seemed to like his work (and Milgrom’s, if I recall). They’re technically competent but not particularly dramatic and thus not suited to superhero comics. They did have a certain romance-comic flair to them, though, and thus were not entirely unsuitable for that V&SW limited series.

Did Dr. Strange forget about the kids entirely? I thought he was unaware that they’d been “erased” and denied that chaos magic existed.

Maybe i’m remembering it wrong, but I thought the whole House of M storyline was sparked by Wanda going insane after her children disappeared.

Matt, I found Englehart’s Surfer execrable but liked his Vision/Scarlet Witch a lot. Different strokes …
Byrne’s retcon was a mess. A lot of it, IIRC, was his desire to force the Vision back into Eerie Outsider Not Human mode so the idea of him as a happy family man had to go. I hadn’t heard the Toaster line, but I did notice Agatha referring to him as a machine.
Englehart’s handling of wicca in the Salem’s Seven story was a mess though. While he’s generally portraying it as “witchcraft the Old Religion” he’s also showing them as Satan worshippers, which forces them back into the Christian Evil Witch stereotype.
Byrne’s standard rationale was that everybody except the original creators had gotten Character X wrong, therefore he (the only worthy successor) would put it right.

@Michael

While the implication from Children’s Crusade was indeed that the Scarlet Witch didn’t inherently have reality-warping powers, Rick Remender established in both Uncanny X-Force #19.1 and his first arc of Uncanny Avengers that Wanda has the ability to warp reality but cannot do so on a larger scale without an extra power source.

Travis Pelkie

June 10, 2013 at 4:25 am

Did anyone mention that ghost Agatha Harkness is totally watching Vision and Scarlet Witch magickally doin’ it?! Eww!

I love that display piece! Happy Vision is fun!

And all sperm is magic, ok?

I always thought that Byrne hated Wanda having magic powers. I remember the entry for the Handbook that he wrote for her that said any powers she displayed from magic were a lie. He just wanted the probability based powers for her that was it.

It’s actually the opposite; by his own account, Byrne’s story was spurred by his “realization” that probability manipulation was, by definition, reality-warping. Remember, the premise of the whole arc is that Immortus can control all of time and space by supercharging Wanda’s existing powers. As Michael notes above, the “probability manipulation” angle, like everything else in the Handbooks, was Gruenwald and Sanderson (and perhaps Eliot R. Brown, who gave “technical advice” in addition to providing diagrams of ultra-gadgets).

Basically, Wanda had a sort of nebulous “misfortune” power for years, then Engelhart mixes that up with magic-based powers, then Gruenwald and Sanderson (and Roger Stern in his Avengers run) define it as “probability manipulation + magic,” Byrne defines her power as reality warping, Kurt Busiek explains it as a mutant power to use magic, and finally Bendis goes back to the Byrne interpretation and pushes the whole idea of that storyline to the point of nearly breaking the character’s usability. Children’s Crusade seems to be trying to put her back where Engelhart left her for the most part.

The real problem is that Wanda’s powers are pretty arbitrary as originally defined, and every Avengers writer wants to be the one to give her power a fixed definition or a specific nature. The other problem is that Byrne’s take on the Vision — which in no way resembles the original concept of Roy Thomas’s and John Buscema’s “Even an Android Can Cry” — keeps coming back for some reason despite making that character less usable.

As a follow up, there was also a bit of “Abandoned An’Forsaked” going on with Agatha’s final spell that Wanda forget her children ever existed. As I recall, she haltingly mentioned her babies during the Pacific Overlords Saga in AWC #71-72. Later, a back up story starring Wanda in AWC Annual #7 (the Assault on Armor City one) had her mention via exposition that she was glad Agatha eventually revoked her spell, allowing Wanda to grieve naturally for her children.

But then, Bendis’s Avengers Disassembled arc supposedly kicked off because a drunken Wasp accidentally let it slip about Wanda’s forgotten babies, prompting Wanda to investigate the slip and leading to her whole breakdown, House of M, M-Day, etc.

@John Wyatt – in addition to the ability to ejaculate, he would have to have actual DNA, and his android body would have to be able to produce ejaculate with the DNA encoded into it.

The Vision’s body, even in Byrne’s retcon, was based on the same technology as that of the Golden Age Human Torch. And the whole point of the Torch was that he was a synthetic organism, not just a robot whose outer shell looked human; Spitfire of the Invaders even got her superspeed powers because of a blood transfusion from the Torch.

That’s why many older comics insistently refer to the Vision as a “synthzoid,” a being who synthetically imitates most of the features of a biological human being. I even recall that a writer once had Hank Pym or Tony Stark note that each cell of the Vision contains the information to produce his whole body, even analogizing this to DNA.

The sequence where the government dissasembles the Vision not only ignores that he’s not just a machine, it never made sense. Supposedly they were afraid he’d use the Avengers computers to take over the world (tried during the Roger Stern run). So why not just say “He never gets anywhere near Avengers mansion, ever.” But Byrne wanted a cold synthetic Vision, so he got it.
Thirty years ago, they’d have used “android” for the Vision, I think, but by the late sixties, that had mutated from “synthetic human” to “human-looking robot” in casual use, so I’m not surprised they went with a new term.

The Vision & Scarlet Witch relationship is one that is best left on the surface.

Once you get a single level deep on it, the relationship gets really strange. The Vision is a machine approximating the personality of Simon Williams. What (and whether) The Vision “feels” is sort of an open question in my mind. It is certainly possible that The Vision is essentially a sociopath expertly faking emotions that he cannot feel. Why on Earth Wanda Maximoff would choose him as her husband is even stranger.

Steve Englehart made a mistake in trying to progress the relationship along, since that progression required applying thought to a really messed up dynamic in a medium that cannot really explore it. Still, Byrne’s response was extremely reactionary even by his standards. He unwound everything Englehart had ever done with the characters dating back to AVENGERS #109.

@fraser — Byrne addresses that point in the AWC issue where the disassembled Vision is revealed. The government agents state that as long as Vision was not a member of the Avengers, they were willing to leave well enough alone. But once he and Scarlet Witch rejoined, the governments felt compelled to act and drafted Mockingbird into their plan.

@fraser- the problem is not so much Englehart as Gerald Gardner. When he created wicca, he was trying to recreate an ancient pagan religion and he relied on historians that claimed that the victims of the witch trials were pagans that were falsely accused of being devil worshipers. The problem was that those historians turned out to be wrong-most if not all of the victims weren’t pagans. The problem with using historians to recreate an extinct religion is that sometimes History Marches Onward.

@Dean- no he doesn’t approximate the personality of Simon Williams. As Busiek had Ultron put it, different life experiences have made them different people from an identical starting point. And yes, Vision has emotions- we’ve seen love spells work on him.

Deron, that’s my point. The government could just have told the Avengers Vizh was now persona non grata–it was well-established the Feds had the authority to make membership decisions like that.

The Vision “feels” is sort of an open question in my mind. It is certainly possible that The Vision is essentially a sociopath expertly faking emotions that he cannot feel.

Uhm…why? He’;s pretty clearly a feeling being all the way back to his very first appearances, where that’s the entire reason he ends up rebelling against Ultron in the first place. If anything, the Vision’s angstiness gets a bit tiresome because his thought bubbles and so forth are so overwrought. His interior monologue simply does not fit with the “expertly faking” idea at all, which comes across as either an uninformed or a willfully perverse misreading of the character.

I get that “the Vision is a feeling being” doesn’t fit with real-world ideas about A.I. and neurochemistry, but the Vision isn’t exactly a hard sci-fi character in the first place. It’s rather telling that you don’t see comics fans wondering if Jim Hammond is just “a sociopath expertly faking human emotions,” even though he’s the exact same sort of being as the Vision. But then, Hammond looks more like a human being…which is ironic, since the Vision is also a prejudice allegory, with stories filled with characters who are portrayed as utterly in the wrong for mistaking his peculiar appearance and monotone voice for signs of inhumanity.

Another example, Omar: When the Vision concluded he was incapable of love (Avengers 105), his response was to break off his burgeoning romance with Wanda, rather than to cover it up and (as he assumed) fake it.

Man with No Face

June 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Fraser said:

“Byrne’s standard rationale was that everybody except the original creators had gotten Character X wrong, therefore he (the only worthy successor) would put it right.”

That’s what Byrne claimed, anyway. I’ve always felt that it was much more, “I’m putting it back to how I THINK the original creators SHOULD have done it.”

Examples:

Byrne’s making the Vision’s personality cold and robotic — when in Vizh’s first appearance, we see him yelling, and in his second, crying — has already been noted.

One panel in the one-page origin story in the first appearance of Superman, way back in 1938, notes, “The passing away of his parents greatly grieved Clark Kent.” Yet in Byrne’s reboot, Jonathan and Martha Kent are still alive.

Alicia Masters was introduced in Fantastic Four #8, and her relationship with the Thing began shortly afterward; but Byrne split them up (and, if he’d had his way, he would’ve killed off Alicia and Franklin Richards).

And, in the same Avengers Westcoast run as the Scarlet Witch story above, he had Wonder Man’s attitude instantly go from, “The Vision’s my brother! I love him and would do anything for him!” to, “No, I’m not going to give him my brain patterns. But I am going to bang his wife.”

No Face, another example (I agree with your assessment) is the confident, studly Clark Kent of Byrne’s rung in contrast to the Shuster/Siegel wimp.
I was much amused reading Byrne’s Omac to get to the text page in which he says he hates writers who fasten on some technical inconsistency to justify totally reworking a character. Apparently it’s much, much better if you do it “because I felt like it.”

Captain Haddock

June 19, 2013 at 10:07 am

I miss the good old days when you could just magick up a kid in comics. Kinda puts things like punching reality in perspective.

Steven R. Stahl

October 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

In #43 of that title, Byrne already introduced a slight change, highlighting the fact that Wanda’s probability-altering powers gave her the babies, not magick…

If your intention was to make Byrne and the fans of his WCA storyline look like idiots, you succeeded. A professional writer is normally expected to be able to comprehend what he reads, and bases a storyline on.

SRS

Dr. Strange did remember delivering Wanda’s children. During Disassembled, he specifically says that he delivered her children. What he didn’t know about was their later disappearance and the involvement of Master Pandemonium.

So, what is the exact origin of Speed and Wiccan, now? They are in their late teens. It is impossible for Wanda to be their mother without a time warp or accelerated aging.

“As a follow up, there was also a bit of “Abandoned An’Forsaked” going on with Agatha’s final spell that Wanda forget her children ever existed. As I recall, she haltingly mentioned her babies during the Pacific Overlords Saga in AWC #71-72. Later, a back up story starring Wanda in AWC Annual #7 (the Assault on Armor City one) had her mention via exposition that she was glad Agatha eventually revoked her spell, allowing Wanda to grieve naturally for her children.”

There’s also an issue of Force Works where the team is grieving a loss (I think Wonder Man, who died [again] in issue #1) and there’s exposition about other great losses they’ve suffered. Scarlet Witch is explicitly said to be thinking about Thomas and William.

I think the writers who came after Byrne simply realized how utterly impossible it would be for Wanda to remain ignorant. Like she was never going to wonder why she had a credit card bill full of baby products? Like she wouldn’t see any photos of her and Vision with little twin boys and wonder who they were and why she can’t remember them? Like Magneto wouldn’t eventually show up and bellow “WHERE ARE MY GRANDSONS?!”

I think “So does Scarlet Witch remember her kids or what?” could be an interesting Abandoned An’ Forsaked column.

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